Nancy and I finally got around to watching the first episodes of “The Chosen” video series given to us by a good friend. Consequently, we have already ordered the second season! If you haven’t availed yourself of this tool for spiritual growth and evangelism, I encourage you to do so without delay.
These videos feature many accounts from Jesus’ life as described in the Gospels. Although most of us are very familiar with these stories, seeing them acted out in living color adds a level of realism that deepens and enhances our faith.
One of the episodes features Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine. John records what we know of this in his story of Jesus’ life and informs us that Jesus did it at His mother’s urging. It’s difficult to say, “No” to your mother, especially when you’ve already commanded all children to honor their parents.
So to obey His mother, save the host’s reputation, and provide for the other guests, Jesus graciously transforms somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 gallons of regular Middle Eastern water into some of the best wine anyone present had ever tasted.
As this story has fermented in my soul, it yielded not alcohol, but a personal prayer for the same Jesus to take the regular water of my life and turn it into fine wine. I’m asking God to take my average everyday thoughts, actions, and words and transform them into something delightfully pleasant and tasteful that will bless all around me.
Each of us has regular duties at home, work, church, and in our communities that others expect us to do and depend on us to perform. All of these, like regular water, are normal aspects of life. But what if Jesus, in His infinite power and might, raised all of our ordinary efforts and activities to the level of extraordinary wine?
In order for this to happen a few things are necessary. Like Mary, we must have the faith to believe that Jesus can actually do such a thing. It’s obviously not something we can make happen ourselves, but through His Holy Spirit, it can easily be done.
Also, like the servants at the wedding, we must obey Jesus’ commands even when they seem odd or foolish to us. As we cooperate with Him, however, incredibly surprising results transpire that end up blessing many other people who may have no idea how it all came about.
In a larger sense, we can invite Jesus to transform our entire beings into His exquisite wine. Since our bodies are 60% water already, it makes it even more comparable. Are we willing to submit every molecule of water in each cell of our bodies to the Master for His alteration? Are we willing to yield ourselves completely and allow God to do a new thing in us for His glory?
Just as this was the first public miracle in Jesus’ ministry, so too His inner transformation of our souls, desires, passions, and dreams needs to be His first work in us as we are born again. As we see in this story from John 2, size and quantity are no obstacles.
In addition, since we’re speaking figuratively of our moral state, it’s vital to remember that our initial water isn’t even pure. It’s hopelessly polluted by sin. We have nothing good to offer Jesus to work with. But as we give Him what we do have, He is able to take it and change it into something beneficial and even delicious.
Nancy and I are looking forward to continuing our journey with “The Chosen,” but in the meantime, may we each allow Jesus to raise our actions, our words, our thoughts, and our very selves from the ordinary, plain, and even sinful beginnings, to the glorious, grand, and superb outcomes similar to the finest wine.
George Bowers is the senior pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren and has authored 16 books including six volumes of his original poetry in Valley Verses. They are available at Four Star Printing, Shenandoah Stuff, and Fort Valley Café. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at email@example.com.